Energy and Climate


Lignin-Feasting Microbe Holds Promise for Biofuels

Nature designed lignin, the tough woody polymer in the walls of plant cells, to bind and protect the cellulose sugars that plants use for energy. For this reason, lignin is a major challenge for those who would extract those same plant sugars and use them to make advanced biofuels. As part of their search for […]

JBEI Updates Techno-Economic Modeling Tools for Biofuels

Now available on-line from the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) are two new, improved versions of a techno-economic model created in 2010 to accelerate development of next generation biofuels that are economically competitive with petroleum-based fuels. Incorporating the latest state-of-the-art technologies relevant to bioethanol production, these new wiki-based models simulate critical factors in the biorefinery process, […]

One-Pot-to-Prep Biomass for Biofuels

Sandia researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have reported the first demonstration of a one-pot, wash-free, process for the ionic liquid pretreatment and saccharification of switchgrass. Using an imidazolium-based ionic liquid pretreatment, the Sandia team was able to liberate 81.2% glucose and 87.4% xylose over the course of a 72 hour processing cycle at […]

Assessing the Economic Potential of Advanced Biofuels

Biofuels hold great promise for the future of transportation energy, but how near we are to that future is, at best, an educated guess with many variables at play. A study led by Scott Paap (Systems Research and Analysis Dept.), “Biochemical production of ethanol and fatty acid ethyl esters from switchgrass: A comparative analysis of environmental […]

Biofuels Blend Right In: Researchers Show Ionic Liquids Effective for Pretreating Mixed Blends of Biofuel Feedstocks

Winemakers have long known that blending different grape varietals can favorably balance the flavor characteristics of the wine they produce. In the future, makers of advanced biofuels might use a similar strategy, blending different feedstock varieties to balance the energy characteristics of the transportation fuel they produce. A collaborative study by researchers with the DOE’s […]

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